6 Things You May Not Know About Buying Luxury Real Estate

6 Things You May Not Know About Buying Luxury Real Estate

  • Riezl Baker
  • 04/4/23

The gorgeous, serene homes on the Lake Oconee real estate scene are second to none and have attracted those looking to relocate to Georgia. This community features stunning lake-side properties in a peaceful neighborhood where you and your family can start your next chapter in style and comfort.

Whether you wheel and deal in real estate or are upgrading your primary residence, you should be especially prudent when purchasing real estate that falls within a higher price range. From the amenities to the neighborhood, there are ways to ensure your investment maintains its value. Purchasing Lake Oconee real estate will put you in a highly coveted community where your most challenging decisions will be whether you want the lap pool or the wrap-around porch.

Patience and the home-buying process

Along your quest for your dream home, you need the patience to keep searching for the perfect property and stay focused on your goals. Luxury real estate can sit on the market longer due to the high price point, and no one should rush into such a significant purchase.

Taking your time is essential; while you may worry that the seemingly perfect property might get snatched up before you can schedule a tour, remember that the next one you find could be even better. Plus, once you are under contract, you will still need the patience to jump through the hoops to obtain financing, undergo the necessary inspections, and get a clear title.

Research the process of purchasing real estate and understand that there are certain pitfalls to avoid, even if it means walking away from a home you love. Title insurance is well worth the expense so that you can ensure you are acquiring the property unencumbered. Most people use financing to acquire real estate, and lenders often require an inspection, appraisal, and title insurance. While making the purchase in cash could allow you to bypass some of these steps, depending on your agreed-upon contract, you should take every precaution to protect your Lake Oconee property.

The importance of location

Of course, determining your new locale is mainly dependent on work and family. However, the neighborhood you choose can dictate your property's value when it comes time to sell. While it is essential to factor in your daily commute, you should analyze every aspect of the communities you consider. From researching the home’s value to walking around the neighborhood yourself, there are many ways to investigate a prospective community. Once you are confident that your property will appreciate in value based on historical and recent trends, make your move and be confident with your investment.

Upkeep and unexpected costs

Whether the property will be your primary residence or your new vacation spot, each has its own set of challenges. For those living in the property all year, maintenance will be more streamlined, as you can monitor the home and act swiftly should a problem occur.

For those who purchase a second home, proper maintenance and upkeep are still incredibly important, and you will need to ensure someone is checking on the house regularly so that the property does not fall into disrepair. It is also essential to understand the dues and services involved with your homeowner's association so that you can continue the necessary upkeep or hire a professional for the task. Maintaining a property is a significant amount of work, and you want to stay well ahead of any issues that may arise down the line.

From the internet to real life

While virtual tours and high-resolution photographs may give you a sense of the space, you should consider visiting the property in person to gain a true understanding of all that the home has to offer. While the lighting and staging on the listing may have suggested opulence, the home might actually be poorly lit or priced too high. Some people use trusted surrogates to check out properties on their behalf, while others make the trip themselves.

If you are out of state and have the time and resources to visit homes in person, you should make an effort to attend a private tour. Although an inspection will reveal any serious issues, such as structural damage, you still want to ensure that you get an up-close-and-personal look at the property to avoid being blindsided once you have the keys to the home. Whether you plan on living there year-round or utilizing the property as a vacation home, touring it in person is the best way to guarantee that the home will fit your family’s needs.

Choose worthwhile amenities

When it comes to luxury Lake Oconee real estate, you can find an array of amazing home features, from at-home movie theaters to state-of-the-art gyms. You will want to ask yourself which conveniences you will use the most so that you can find a property that most closely aligns with your desired lifestyle.

Conversely, if you have hopes for extra features, like a sauna or mother-in-law suite, you will want to ensure that the property can accommodate your plans before signing a contract. A homeowners association brings some level of convenience, but it may also come with headaches. You will want to review the covenants, conditions, and restrictions in place with the association to ensure your renovations won’t ruffle any feathers within the community.

Work with reliable representation

Last but not least, you should hire a seasoned agent to guide you through the process of buying luxury real estate. An agent can ensure your transaction is on track while keeping you well-informed throughout the transaction. Your local agent understands the value of property in the current market and can advise you on making savvy purchasing decisions that will benefit you long-term. Any real estate purchase is a huge undertaking, so you should surround yourself with industry professionals and experts.

As an award-winning Realtor®, Riezl Baker is well-versed in the real estate industry and has been a resident of Lake Oconee for over 20 years. She has the experience and know-how to get you to the closing table on time. Contact Riezl today to find your lakefront Lake Oconee property and enjoy the good life.

*Header photo courtesy of Riezl Baker

Riezl Baker

Riezl Baker

Realtor® | Founding Principal

About The Author

Riezl Baker is an award-winning real estate agent with 22 years of real estate experience at Lake Oconee, Georgia. A resident since 1997, she is well-known for her business accomplishments and extensive community involvement. In 2020, she and her husband Ted co-founded Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group to combine their over 40 years of experience in the Lake Oconee market and with a mission to provide the highest level of service to clients.
In 2022, Riezl closed over $131 million in sales and was recognized as “Top Luxury Real Estate Leader'' by The Atlantan magazine and “Real Estate Newsmaker & Achiever'' by RIS Media. She was recognized as a 2021 Top Producer after closing over 70 transactions totaling $115 million and was awarded the Crystal Phoenix Award by the Lake Country Board of REALTORS®. 
She is passionate about her community and has been involved on a leadership level for many different organizations. She is the Past Chairman of the St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital Board and was part of the original founding Board that steered the opening of the hospital in 2013. She co-chaired the successful 2023 Heart & Soul Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee which raised over $450,000 for the local hospital. In 2010, she and her husband co-founded the Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival to benefit local education, which has evolved into a three-day destination event at The Ritz-Carlton. An advocate for the arts, Riezl is a Board Director for the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS). She was the President of the Lake Country Board of Realtors® in 2016. The Atlantan magazine awarded her "Expert in Second and Vacation Homes" for 2020 and 2021. She was recognized as a "2021 Top Luxury Real Estate Industry Leader" and was also nominated as "Best Bilingual" and "Best Community Impact" in Georgia.
Riezl holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and joined the Hyatt Hotels as a Corporate Management Trainee. She worked for the company for seven years in Operations Management and Hospitality Sales in Houston and Atlanta. She served as a Board Director for Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest meeting and event industry association, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Breakout, Georgia MPI's monthly publication that is distributed to thousands of members.
As the Director of Athens (Ga.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, Riezl developed strategic plans to attract conventions to the city. In 2000, she obtained her real estate license and worked for Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties where she was a top producer for 20 years. 
Riezl is a public speaker and has spoken at several national real estate conferences and webinars. She was an invited speaker at a National Empowerment Conference in Las Vegas in 2022 where she spoke about “Successful Entrepreneurship in America.” She was also featured in a 2022 episode of Fox Business Network’s prime-time real estate show Mansion Global. 
She and her husband have been married for 26 years and have two children, Stuart, who is a junior at Yale University, and Remi, who attends Interlochen Performing Arts Academy.

Community Footprints

  • Co-Founder, LEAD Lake Oconee
  • Board Member, Oconee Performing Arts Society.
  • Board Member, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board.
  • Past Chairman, St. Mary Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board, 2017-2019.
  • Past President, Lake Country Board of REALTORS®, 2016.
  • Co-Founder, Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival.
  • Three-Year Chair, Heart and Soul Gala Benefit, Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee.
  • Co-Chair, Heart and Soul Benefit Gala, 2022

Work With Riezl

A consistent top producer in the Lake Oconee area, Riezl has been recognized with numerous awards for her business accomplishments and community involvement. Contact Riezl today if you are thinking of selling or buying, or both.

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